Mountaintop Anniversary

I couldn’t help but smile at those two darling dogs, and the shoot wasn’t even all about them!!!! Courtney, of Courtney Ess Photography, asked me to help her with floral pieces for an anniversary shoot taking place in a local mountaintop location. What a perfect, perfect day of weather it turned out to be for an anniversary shoot of a wedding we designed the florals for several years ago.  Courtney wanted to have a bouquet, dog collars and a couple other pieces she could use as backdrops.

 

View More: http://courtneyess.pass.us/sff3

At first I was thinking of ordering flowers in from my wholesalers, but then walked outside the other evening in our yard and gardens, and it hit me: I can use “stuff” from here!!!! Why not? It’s in the mountains, the Northwest, outdoors—we all have the finest to choose from right out our door, right here in Tillamook, Oregon. These are the greens and flowers people from everywhere else, yearn for!!! I started looking around and the Oregon Grape, vine maple, huckleberry and blooming thimble-berry with its delicate white flowers-would work perfectly as a backdrop to a few flowers. The sword fern and deer fern, with its curly que tops give another whimsical look and texture. I wondered though if it would all hold and not wilt once picked since some of the greens are so newly emerging from this LONG winter. I tested it overnight, and had only one issue. This may seem really weird to most, but there were some huge Man-in the Ground vines (a pungent weed that takes over large areas in a rain forest)BUT, it would make a cool viney looking thing draping from a bouquet with it’s feather feelers and little white stephonotis-looking flowers—or so I thought! I was secretly thinking how funny this would be to make it into a bridal publication with this big ‘ol weed! But, it wilted overnight so I knew it wasn’t going to work. I found some other grass, as well as the smaller deer fern and hoped Kathryn didn’t have allergies. Blooming profusely right now flower-wise were little lavender bachelor buttons and lupine. We have all shades, and while it probably isn’t the variety found in the mountain, I decided it was close enough and would give the bouquet a different structure and some color. Usually our foxgloves are blooming by now, but only the white ones were budded and looking photo-worthy so I picked a big bunch of those for a vase arrangement along with the vine maple as filler.

View More: http://courtneyess.pass.us/sff3

I thought about walking up the hill to see if I might be able to find some bleeding hearts or other flower—even down by the creek—they grow under the shade there, but we have a resident bear—a huge bear making himself comfortable in our field, so didn’t feel like seeing him face to face and nixed that idea.

Courtney’s only request was to have roses or dahlias, but the dahlias were two inches out of the ground, so I ordered in one bunch of a white garden roses to give the bouquet a more wedding/anniversary feel. Other than the roses and the seeded eucalyptus on the dog collars, it was a foraged floral shoot! And I loved the process and the end results too!!!! And those two darling dogs looking all anniversary-like.

 

View More: http://courtneyess.pass.us/sff3

View More: http://courtneyess.pass.us/sff3

Click Here for Courtney’s Blog Post

Star of the Show

Star is definitely the star of the show right now. Fluffy, white blooms puffing out all along her outstretched branches signal warmer temperatures; Spring has arrived; more sun will be coming….Promise! At least that’s how I take her message! She is light and beauty and fragrance and she’s bloomed in our yard for probably over twenty five years or more. She is Star Magnolia.

IMG_9721

My Star Magnolia in bloom April 3, 2017

Star’s blooms are the inspiration for our photo shoot this coming weekend. A new photographer to the area, Laurie Jean Photography, approached us with the idea of doing something different in the way of a wedding shoot combining elements from the beach, vintage dress (which she found and purchased at Phoenix Exchange, here in downtown Tillamook; it’s gorgeous and was in excellent condition) and vintage men’s wear. Laurie wanted a unique look for the bouquet as well. Her vision was something more horizontal (as opposed to roundy-roundy)—which is definitely a new trend. I don’t know if it will catch on here this year as sometimes it takes awhile —-but we will also be using grey and white tones, more muted shades with draping greenery and different textures in ribbon and maybe a surprise or two just because I can’t resist with what I like! The draping greenery seems to be catching on. I don’t know if it’s because the Pantone Color of the Year is green, but brides are trending more towards greenery this year it seems.

Intrigued with a new challenge as far as the bridal bouquet and getting to create something that appealed to me, had me hooked on wanting to collaborate with Laurie. Plus, it would be good practice to actually put one together to experience the challenge and have the practice before I actually needed to do one for a real bride. Patti (one of our designers), had designed a horizontal bouquet with an armature (a structure that gives the flowers and greens support) for her niece’s wedding years ago, and I remember that being a challenge. But, I loved how Patti’s turned out because I loved the colors, and that it was so different than anything we had done.

horizontal bouquet

Patti’s horizontal bouquet designed 10+ years ago for her niece, Jen.

I knew Laurie’s bouquet vision could be accomplished, so I started thinking about what I might use as the armature for this focal piece for the wedding shoot. Star was the answer!!!!

I decided I wanted to have some of the blooms still in buds and probably some of them just starting to crack out of their soft, velvety gray cocoons, while others will be fully popped from their cocoons. Since it’s warming up and the rain continues, I also knew I needed to slow down the process of all of the blooms being full-blown so I cut a bucket full of branches, and placed them in a bucket of water in the cooler at the store to hold them until I start putting the bouquet together. Star’s branches are somewhat flat with many laterals down a branch. I’m thinking this will work well as the base of the bouquet structure, and will give good support to the greens and flowers that I will add to form the bouquet. They seem to have just the right amount of curvature to add interest and texture against the softness of the blooms I will add.

I’ll keep you posted here on how it all comes together!

Shipwreck Wedding on the Oregon Coast-Oregon Coast Florist-Oceanside-Wedding Inspiration

Months ago, Xiomara of Imago Dei Photography, approached us with the idea of participating in a Shipwreck on the Oregon Coast themed photo shoot.  Along with three other photographers, Xiomara saw the opportunity to attract destination brides to our area of the Oregon Coast.  Basically, we would be staging a fantasy wedding. That meant securing all of the props, services, bride, groom, make-up, hair, dresses, shoes jewelry, cake, tuxedo and FLOWERS of course!

Were we interested?  Of course!  Even though we’ve designed flowers for hundreds of weddings over the past twelve years, brides usually have their own ideas about what they want in the way of flowers.  Xiomara sent us an inspiration board knowing she could trust us to see the vision, but also gave us complete creative freedom within the vision.  All she said was, “I want to see something I haven’t seen before.”  This is like a florist’s dream come true!  And this kind of challenge keeps me awake at night pondering how I will combine a certain flower and a certain succulent.  And what would set off the Gatsby era dresses?  And how about something for their hair that uses an element from the bouquet?  How can I tie in the setting, the sand, the surf, the sea life and shipwreck?

Since there were two brides, we decided that one would have a more traditional bouquet using David Austin Patience roses (they look like peonies and are phenomenally fragrant) paired with foilage, succulents and pods.  The combinations of the varying textures – the softness of the roses against the sponginess of the succulents all reminded me of the texture found at the ocean.  A silver thread tied all of the elements together and drew you to the dress as well.

View More: http://imagodeiphotography.pass.us/sunflowerflats View More: http://imagodeiphotography.pass.us/sunflowerflats View More: http://imagodeiphotography.pass.us/sunflowerflats

The second (and more out of the box) bouquet was crafted from pele hair and dried seaweed, which formed the base and was the inspiration for the design.  I loved the way it flowed, it’s more rugged texture, and the color against the softness of the elegant feather backed cymbidium orchids.  Tillandria formed the bodice of the bouquet with cascading succulents.  We decided this bouquet would only be for the most confident of brides.

View More: http://imagodeiphotography.pass.us/sunflowerflats View More: http://imagodeiphotography.pass.us/sunflowerflats View More: http://imagodeiphotography.pass.us/sunflowerflats

 

Photo shoot day required many support people.  There were three of us from Sunflower Flats, and several other vendors, photographers & helpers out there.  We all acted as pack horses to lug all of the props for each of the sets:  tables, trunks, our curly willow arch (in pieces) flowers, greens, nets, glass balls, vases & cake and then had to lug it all back!  We literally walked miles!

Shipwreck setup

Xiomara envisioned shooting on the OTHER side of the tunnel at Oceanside, meaning the tide had to be out enough to get through and out to the other side.  All of us began the trek with our loads in the gale force wind and rain.  We emerged from the far side of the tunnel to waves still crashing over the exit.  No beach to be seen yet, and with an angry surf, we knew it was going to be awhile until it receded.

**Keep in mind, this is NOVEMBER, not a typical month for an outdoor/beach wedding here on the Oregon Coast.  But when you are gathering wedding vendors, this is one of the only months wedding vendors are available!  The inclement weather just added to the adventure!

So, Plan B (modify and adapt) back to where we began (on the Oceanside beach) with all the props and we set up what we could do with the guest book table, sweetheart table, curly willow arch and cake table.  The challenge was to have someone hold all the pieces together, bracing it all from the wind, until the second before the shot.

View More: http://imagodeiphotography.pass.us/sunflowerflats View More: http://imagodeiphotography.pass.us/sunflowerflats View More: http://imagodeiphotography.pass.us/sunflowerflats

We were bouquet sitters – protecting and harboring the bouquets while the models got into place and then giving them the bouquet at the last minute for the shot.  If you thought being a florist was glamorous, here is a picture of us to prove otherwise!

Shipwreck

Eventually, the surf receded so we could venture to the other side of the tunnel with the stunning rock backdrop.  The cloud formations even cooperated with the swirling, floating foam around the craggy pools.  Nature’s elements and it’s many textures and light came together for a truly phenomenal experience for us as florists.

View More: http://imagodeiphotography.pass.us/sunflowerflats View More: http://imagodeiphotography.pass.us/sunflowerflats

View More: http://imagodeiphotography.pass.us/sunflowerflats

All photos courtesy:  Imago Dei Photography

To see more amazing images from this day and for a complete list of vendors & contributors, please visit Imago Dei Photography’s blog.

 

Anniversary Inspiration

Florist on the Oregon Coast

Some husbands go above and beyond to show their love.  Kevin is one of those men.

 

Sixteen years ago, Kevin Queen married Debbie at the Garibaldi Museum where she carried a bouquet of Stargazer lilies and Fire and Ice roses, her favorite flowers at the time.  Every year since, Kevin spends the year prior to their anniversary researching and thinking about how he will recognize their upcoming anniversary with a floral arrangement that incorporates something that signifies that particular year of marriage.  For example, paper signifies year one so Kevin made a paper replica of Debbie’s bouquet for their first year anniversary.  For the last twelve years, Kevin has collaborated with Sunflower Flats to come up with a design in whatever idea he decides on.  One year, he purchased a steel card holder and had us attach orchid florets and roses to the holder.  Another year was aluminum, which was the most difficult for him, but he finally settled on folding his own roses using aluminum paper and incorporating them into a fresh rose arrangement.  Kevin says his goal each year is to find something practical that Debbie will be able to use in their home.  Last year, because it was the year for crystal (15), he chose wine glasses and a baking dish as the base for his arrangement. 

 

This year, for year sixteen, Kevin decided silver halloware meant a new set of silverware (which he said they needed) and a new stainless (silver) Kitchen Aid mixer.  A couple of weeks ago, Kevin brought in the mixing bowl for Patti to design an arrangement in, but this wasn’t to be just any fresh arrangement—not when Patti is the designer—and Kevin expects out of the ordinary–always– so, Patti started gathering her ideas.  And true to form, Patti came up with a design perfect for the mixing bowl that incorporated Intuition roses and Sterling roses (now Debbie’s favorites)—in a layered cake design!!!!  But not just a simple layered cake design…no, this cake had pieces of the silverware incorporated around the edges of the bowl along with a silver armature out of wire to accent the Intuition and Sterling roses along with the eucalyptus and the light pink genestra to give it a little pop and sweet fragrance.

 

We loved how it turned out and Sherri, our delivery lady, said Debbie did some little hops up and down when she saw it. Obviously, she loved it too!  Congratulations, Kevin and Debbie Queen on sixteen years of marriage and best wishes for many more to come!